New Breed Choreographer Spotlight: Jesse Scales


11 November 2016

Jesse Scales is a Sydney Dance Company dancer and one of the four choreographers creating new pieces for our third edition of New Breed (29 Nov – 10 Dec) at Carriageworks.


What can audiences expect from your piece?

Emotions. Or lack thereof. An opportunity to express the internalisation of emotional turmoil. Numbness, panic, isolation, frustration, despair. A dark circumstance that sparks a raw and unnerving realisation of self detriment.

How would you describe your choreographic style?

This is my first professional work so my style is definitely still evolving. So far I have discovered that I thoroughly enjoy the combination of movement I can sink my teeth into and a raw emotional engagement from the dancers. Development of worlds and characters are also intriguing to me, whether that’s paired with movement or not.

What was your inspiration?

For What You See I wanted to explore how body postures and subconscious nuances can be conveyed and, at times, misunderstood. I drew from various experiences and research to identify the range from everyday struggles to cases of Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, etc. Together with the dancers, we worked on creating a circumstance where a vicious emotional loop tightens, and questioned whether that loop would eventually suffocate or could someone allow themselves to break free and move forwards.

What has been your career highlight so far?

It was amazing to be awarded the Green Room award for Best Female Dancer in 2015 for Quintett by William Forsythe.

What do you love most about contemporary dance?

I love the versatility of it. The versatility of the movement, where you can do it, why you do it, even who does it, and who it can have an effect on. Contemporary dance seems limitless with the amount of different channels you can take it down. I love that this allows me to draw from everything I learn and experience and therefore be able to bring to the table something that challenges myself and the viewer.

New Breed

29 Nov – 10 Dec, Carriageworks

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